Tuesday, April 12, 2011

World Bird & Watery Wednesday ~ Pelican Attack

Early on Sunday morning at Tumby Bay I came upon this nice,
quiet prayer meeting. The faithful were gathered in front of
the guru cleaning his early catch.

What a photo opportunity, thought I as I sidled around the
worshippers to get an angle on the birds from the front, and
noticed the natives getting decidedly restive.

Then, suddenly out of the blue, this bird, who was tall enough
to snap my nose off, came at me - fangs bared

and snapped with a resounding klick, at my camera!

Again and again he came at me trying to dislodge me from
the front of the queue. I just managed to get my camera out of
range as I stared down his gullet.

He obviously took me for an interloper and competition for his
food source in the hand-out line. I made a small strategic sideways
retreat and they seemed to quieten down somewhat still
suspiciously grunting at me.

Appeasement came with the distribution of the loaves and
fishes on the seashore.

One does not come this close to a large pelican very often,
note the very blue foot.

Purposefully strutting along at some speed, what a guy,
handsome doesn't cut it!

In case you were wondering, they also resented the resounding
click my SLR makes. Maybe it sounded like the snap of a pelican bill,
who knows?

As always they enlarge and if you are using an apple, you can extend them to full screen.

Thanks to World Bird Wednesday we can all show off our weekly encounters.


  1. Just saw your photo on World Bird Wednesday. Great shots, considering he was definitely coming after you. I had a kangaroo attack my camera in Australia, but not the pelicans - all of the ones we saw were pretty calm and stationary, thank goodness!

  2. Kristi

    The kangaroo's alarm call is a clicking sound so no wonder it felt threatened.

  3. Puedo saber un poco mas de estas aves y observarlas de cerca, ya que la semana pasada las vi pasar muy alto.

    Hasta la vista, gracias.

  4. This post was such and enjoyment - both in word and image!
    You got some wonderful action shots. Not sure I'd have gotten that close. :)
    Love the shot of the feathers with the blue foot - great detail.

  5. They are amazing birds, and I love your post!

  6. Wow, they're so close, and you have captured their beauty so well!

  7. Fantastic captures, Arija!! And that guy has a BIG mouth! How fun -- well, not if he had attacked you, but I do love his blue boots! Absolutely amazing!! You do get some incredible shots! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!


  8. oh my goodness! that's a little too close for comfort, but you got some FANTASTIC shots out of it! better a pelican than a lion, i guess! :)

  9. Lovely images.
    The Pelicans are beautiful birds

  10. Im still lol..that was so much fun.
    Great shots---that gullet is HUGE!!

  11. Are they ever big.Boom&Gary of the Vermilon River, canada.

  12. Ohh the beak are so pointy, amazing. You are so good to have feed this hungry mouths

    Hope you can visit Picture My World for My World Tuesday

  13. What a remarkable experience! You are a brave soul to stand your ground and continue to click away. Who else has taken pictures of a pelicans throat in mid attack? It is hard to come up with a true first but I think you may have done it. Stupendous! ;-)WBW

  14. Wow, what an amazing series of photos. I would have been jumping back, scared silly.

  15. I just can't stop laughing! (And I needed that, thanks.) Your photos and story are spectacularly spot on. What a stealthy woman you are slipping around the congregation and braving the obvious wrath of this monstrous parishioner. Thank God you got away with the detailed evidence.

  16. Amazing shots! They look so wonderfully otherworldly. What a treat to see them up-close and personal.

  17. Cik interesanti putni! Pelikāni ir tik amizanti. Man ļoti patika šī Jūsu fotoattēlu sērija, paldies!

  18. I smiled at the first photo of the quiet prayer meeting. Then as the pelican began attacking your camera I was spellbound. Then I was very impressed with your bravery as you had the presence of mind to continue photographing as that huge beak was snapping at you. Finally, I was full of admiration for your beautiful photos and your storytelling ability. Well done, Arija.

  19. arija, how nice to come by to find this amazing post and these amazing photos. wow. the 'congregation' had me just about on the floor--totally adorable and totally creative.

    (followed by that cavernous mouth!)


  20. Not a happy chappy but I've learned some people/creatures are better AFTER they've eaten. Low blood sugar do you think??
    Great pics Arija.

  21. Great photos Arija, and your commentary is perfect! I had a good chuckle :-)

  22. You deserve a medal for Photo Blogger courage! If that big pelican had come after me I would have turned and run, forget the photos!
    But I love the pictures you got and the story you weaved around them.

  23. Carletta,

    thanks, I was rather chuffed at getting so close.




    I do try . . .


    that guy really went for me, again and again and my knees were shaking but I soldiered on . . .


    believe it, it was much too close for comfort!


    too right!


    I am glad I brought some humour to your day.


    yep, he stood level with my waist and when he stretched his neck, he could easily have taken out my eyes.


    yes, that beak was dangerous, hard, pointed and hooked. I did not feed them, I just photographed.


    thank you for your very kind comment, I felt anything but brave, just held the camera between the monster and my hands, didn't want to spray blood all over the place as mine has to be kept very thin. In retrospect, it was quite an encounter!


    I was sorely tempted but stuck to my guns.


    laughter is the best medicine, glad I could help.


    always glad to put a smile on anyone's face.


    it certainly was a privilege to see them so up close and personal, perhaps a little too close for comfort.

  24. Excellent captures. He looks quite a fearsome bird! I wouldn't want to upset him lol

  25. What a frightful encounter, Arija! You showed a great deal of courage. I noticed several small gulls standing close by. There is a YouTube video of a white pelican just grabbing a pigeon and swallowing it whole!

  26. Hello my love! Sorry I have not been by. Guess where I am right now? On a hospital bed! I will have a proper visit when I get home. Love to you. Tsup!

  27. Amazing documentation of your photo-adventure! I have never looked down a Pelican's throat before! They are awesome-looking birds though!

  28. Love the shots! Talk about posing for the camera...

  29. These are so fascinating! I haven't seen Pelicans in ages.
    The blue feet were actually news to me :)

  30. What marvelous pictures Arija. I've never seen Pelicans that color, and I love your story!
    Good thing you were careful and didn't get any closer. That beak can be very dangerous.
    Great post!


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